Wow. I can’t believe I almost missed this gorgeous place. Agra is pretty far from Chennai; it took a 2.5 hour flight and a 3 hour car ride to get here. Knowing how much I just adore flying, it didn’t really sound ideal.
I had decided before coming to India that I didn’t want to go through the hassle just to see an old building. Then I started to wonder: would I regret not seeing it? Would I ever really have the chance again?? I started asking some of my teammates to see if anyone else was interested. A few people were on the fence, while others thought it was too far of a flight. They would hate my weekly work commute for sure if 2.5 hours on a plane is too much. Luckily Hollie agreed pretty quickly to join me, then Rainbow did too. Peter and Eva decided to come along too, but wanted to take the train and do their own tour instead of a structured one.
The drive here was an adventure. We finally saw the countryside. The tiny huts that people live in are unimaginable. Men and women work in the fields side by side. You see buffalo all over the place, and some camels for work. There are also tons of monkeys in Agra. Wonder if I could sneak one home?
Once again, we were very popular tourists. A couple on their honeymoon asked if they could take some pics with us. Another guy came up later and asked if he could take a selfie with me. We noticed quite a few people taking pics of us when they thought we weren’t looking. One boy had the camera aimed my way, so I tried to step out of the way. The camera followed me. Then his friend was trying to surreptitiously take a selfie that ended with the camera straight on me. It is hilarious. Will be strange when I’m back in the States where most people think I’m on the medium-shade side. No more weird white chick.
The Taj Mahal is even more impressive in person. I was speechless. It took 22 years to build, and when you consider the lack of machinery 400+ years ago, that is pretty amazing. The detail is exquisite. The decorative colors aren’t painted, they are semi-precious jewels embedded in the marble. All of these years later, and the colors are still luminescent. This was worth the trip to get here, and I’m including the trip from the US. We are staying at the Oberoi Amarvilas, my new favorite hotel in the world. Each room overlooks the Taj and the accommodations and service are beyond excellent. It will be hard to return to Delhi tomorrow and Chennai tomorrow night after this amazing place.